Selective focus, Shot & More, 4K video and Studio Mode are just some of the GS5's new imaging features
Samsung introduces not only a new 16-megapixel sensor and a revamped flash to the Galaxy S5, but also a wealth of new software features to go with them. The revamped Samsung camera app mostly does away with the big carousel of shooting modes, arranging various features in a grid layout, accessible from the settings icon. Here's where you'll finds options like photo and video resolution — the GS5 shoots at up to 16MP in 16:9, 12MP in 4:3 and video at 4K — as well as the selective focus and HDR modes. The former takes a bunch of exposures, does a little math, and then lets you choose whether you want to focus on the foreground of background. (There's also a "pan focus" option that tries to keep everything sharp.) HDR has been revamped too, giving a live preview of what HDR images will look like. Capture speeds — generally, and in HDR mode in particular — are also noticeably improved.
'Shot & More' lets you take photos now and apply shooting modes later.
The "Modes" button, once overflowing with options, has been pared back significantly. Many of the older modes, such as HDR, now live in the main settings grid. Instead the scrolling list of modes is reserved for a few fancier shooting modes, such as panorama and the new "Virtual tour" mode, which is best described as a series of Photosphere images stitched together — similar to Google Maps Street View. Many of the Galaxy S4's advanced photo modes — Eraser Shot, Best Face, Best Photo and Drama Shot, for example — now live under the Shot & More feature. This solves the problem of being overwhelmed by the wide array of "smart" photo modes offered by previous Samsung cameras by letting you take your shot first, then decide which mode is best. (Some shooting modes which aren't relevant may be grayed out, depending on the image.) What's also useful is that you can save the original images and go go back and change output modes later through the Gallery app.
This is one of the many settings found in the Gallery app's "Studio" section. Others include a video trimmer, Photo studio — a straight-up photo editor similar to the one found in stock Android 4.4 — Collage studio, which can be used to stitch several photos together into an artistic image. There's also Video clip studio, which produces videos similar to HTC's video highlights. First select the shots or video you want to include, then apply filters and add music to create a personal montage of shots.